Calls for more regulation of paragliding

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Dominika and Rafal ‘Ralph’ Skóra

There have been calls for greater regulation of paragliding in Ireland following the tragic death of man in the Wicklow mountains recently.

The body of Rafal ‘Ralph’ Skóra (41), a paragliding enthusiast originally from Poland but living in Artane in Dublin, was found at on May 12 by a group who were working with the Wicklow Mountain Rescue and the Irish Coast Guard.

Paragliders are exempt from any pilot licensing requirements in Ireland when used for recreational pleasure flying and not used for hire or reward such as commercial tandem flight or commercial aerial photography.

accident was bound to happen

“There are now so many paragliders using the mountains in Wicklow and off Bray Head an accident was bound to happen,” one local told the Wicklow Voice.

“A basic licensing or safety course is needed as anyone can get one and take to the air without training.”

Philip Lardner, training and safety officer with the Irish Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (IHPA), said paragliding is a “fairly challenging sport” in Ireland because of the weather conditions. He said spring and summer months, in particular April and May, provide good flying conditions.

Mr Skóra’s wife Dominika raised the alarm the night before night when he failed to return home.

“I will make sure that my children with Rafal, Benjamin who is three-years-old and 12-weeks-old Julianna, will know everything there is to about their father,” she said.

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